Wesley Hong

UAH Honors student Wesley Hong

Courtesy Wesley Hong

Wesley Hong, a Chemical Engineering Honors student at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), a part of The University of Alabama System, has been offered a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) summer internship at the University of Louisiana Lafayette's Advanced Infrastructure Materials (AIM) program. During this summer internship, Hong will have the opportunity to work on cutting-edge research projects pertaining to advanced infrastructure materials in Louisiana’s second largest public research university.

The AIM REU provides undergraduate students with hands-on research and training opportunities in advanced infrastructure materials to encourage and prepare them to pursue careers and advanced degrees in this area. During a 10-week paid in-person summer program, Hong will be paired with a faculty mentor and engage in hands-on research projects and various educational activities in the area of infrastructure materials. He will develop valuable skills in conducting research, scientific writing, data collection and analysis and presentation of research findings to a diverse audience.

NSF REUs are prime opportunities for undergraduate students to start developing vital research required for graduate school and fellowships. These internships expose students to different academic institutions, research programs, and help students obtain additional, specialized knowledge of a research topic within their majors. As a chemical engineering major with a concentration in materials, Hong’s experience with the University of Louisiana Lafayette’s AIM program will directly align with his future goal of pursuing a M.S. degree in chemical engineering.

Hailing from Houston, Texas, Hong has a natural interest in the chemical engineering industry. Although he had been interested in engineering in general for a long time, “the most interesting thing about [Chemical Engineering] for me is the academic challenge it gives me,” he says. After obtaining his M.S. degree, Hong aims to enter into a research and development career in the chemical engineering industry.

“Wesley’s success with the NSF REU program is reflection of his professional and research goals that he discussed in HON 201: Scholarship and Graduate School Prep,” states Fellowship and Graduate School Advisor Jennifer Staton, who teaches the course. “Because Wesley recognized that he needs to obtain undergraduate research experience in order to be competitive for graduate school, he focused his efforts on applying for multiple NSF REU programs, which is exactly what you should do when applying for such opportunities. Not only did Wesley successfully go through a highly competitive selection process (given the national prestige of the program), but he is now able to participate in undergraduate research project that is directly related to his major concentration. We are very proud of Wesley for his achievement.”